I have been working on the software side of my greenBox Project as of late. I just wanted to make a quick update on my progress.
I have the setup working pretty much the same as it did in Ubuntu 9.10 on Ubuntu 10.04, and, I have to say, Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) seems to work even better in this new version of Ubuntu. Loading is significantly quicker and the overall feel is just smoother.
On the features side of things, I now have sound and disk redirection working when connecting to the Windows 7 virutal machine. These things worked already on the LTSP, but I had not added them to the RDP connection. I have been testing sound out with YouTube videos and Windows Media player and it works really well. I have actually been enjoying listening to some music playing from my thinclient test computer while typing this post.
With disk redirection, it is now possible for the user to connect a USB drive or put in a cd and read the files. Simple, but a feature that is completely necessary.
For those that haven’t seen my previous setup demo, please check out my YouTube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q_l8p7fn3Q&feature=player_embedded
Now, picture the exact same thing with sound. I hope to make a new video with the new features sometime soon.
And now for something I have not said this in this blog that I think is worth saying…
I don’t think anything I’m doing here is overly unique or even hard to produce. I think what makes this project special is my target audience. I’m aiming to make computer maintenance and deployment more cost effective while giving a better user experience in one of the most overlooked sectors of IT; public access. These are the places with some of the worst funding (especially with the federal government cutting so much funding to CAP programs nationally), worst computers, and a lack of technically knowledgeable staff (don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing IT people working in public access, but they are stretched very thin and are often underpaid). If I can build an all-in-one solution that is cheap, easy to deploy, and environmentally friendly, I think many people will be interested. Even people that cannot afford to buy a computer deserve a great user experience with the latest software.
That being said, there will be an opportunity for people to see this system working in the future. My current plans are to have the full prototype working for the Atlantic Eco Expo in Halifax in September. Stay tuned for more updates and check out the Expo at http://www.atlanticecoexpo.com/ and on twitter at http://twitter.com/AtlanticEcoExpo
I hope to see you then.